Common Core Put on Hold in Indiana; Gov. Pence Agrees to More Review

With the education bill signed Saturday by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the federal government's Common Core State Standards Initiative will undergo further review before implementation in that state.

The bill calls for public hearings, a legislative review and a fiscal analysis of the costs before the Common Core, which is already in effect for Indiana kindergartners and first graders, can be fully implemented.

The new law "hits the pause button on Common Core so Hoosiers can thoroughly evaluate which standards will best serve the interests of our kids," Pence said in a statement at the Saturday signing ceremony, according to Associated Press.

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The legislation has bipartisan support in the state, Austin Hill points out for The state's Superintendent of Education, Glenda Ritz, is a Democrat who defeated a Republican incumbent for that post by campaigning against the Common Core.

Indiana, along with 44 other states, signed onto the Common Core in 2010 when it was competing with those other states for federal education dollars through the Race to the Top program. Those states agreed to implement the Common Core before the actual education standards had even been published. (Four states rejected the Common Core -- Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia -- and Minnesota rejected the math standards of the Common Core.)

Since adopting the standards, at least 15 other states have expressed buyer's remorse by introducing anti-Common Core legislation, but Indiana is the first in which any legislation has been passed.

The Common Core was initially sold as a "state-led," bottom up, initiative. States have since learned, though, that was not the case.

The Common Core was developed by the State Governors Association, a private organization, with financial backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was implemented by the states through their education departments, thus bypassing the legislative process.

Even some Common Core supporters have decried the methods used to implement the Common Core. In a March interview with The Christian Post, Dr. E. D. Hirsch, who founded a company that designs curriculum for the Common Core, said, "that was a political mistake, for sure."

A final decision will be made by the Indiana State Board of Education before July 1, 2014.

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